Hey, Laser Geeks: Stop Playing Star Wars at the Palm Beach Airport

Keep your lasers out of my eyes!
Keep your lasers out of my eyes!
Flckr user: pedrosimoes7

More than 20 times in the past year, pranksters have shone a green laser beam into the cockpits of planes landing at Palm Beach International Airport, attempting to blind the pilots.

No planes have crashed, but at least one pilot was injured, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office.

That should be enough to discourage more Star Wars games, no?

Playing with laser beams is an old trick, and not a particularly creative one. Four years ago, Congress proposed legislation to make the crime punishable by a $250,000 fine and up to five years in prison. But the bill died because the threat of such laser pranks seemed to be fading, according to the New York Times.

Yet the crime -- considered a third degree felony that becomes a first degree felony if the plane crashes -- is apparently still popular in Palm Beach County.

The most recent airport incident occurred last Saturday, according to Teri Barbera, public information officer for the sheriff's office. She asked that anyone with information that could help identify the culprits contact the sheriff's office or Crime Stoppers, at 1-800-458-TIPS.


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